Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a combined $129,500 salary

Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a combined $129,500 salary
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email

Our Cash Confessional series, in partnership with Bank of America, takes a personal and anonymous look into how people of all ages and incomes spend their money in the span of seven days.

To see the other installments of Cash Confessional, click here. This series is completely volunteer-based; if you’re interested in keeping track of your own spending and having it featured, email Kylie at This week, I spoke with 30-year-old woman making $61,500 while her husband makes $68,000. Here’s how they spend their money.

The basics:

Industry: IT
Position: Information Manager
Salary: $61,500. My husband brings home $68,000.
Extra income: I have a potential annual bonus of $5,000 based on company performance, and my husband brings in a monthly commission based off of the previous month’s sales.
Savings: We both contribute to 401(k)s and try to save $1,000 per month.
Age: 30

Monthly expenses:

Mortgage: $1,450
Number of roommates: 3 – one husband, one 10-month-old son and one Golden Retriever
Neighborhood: Huntersville
Electric: $75
Gas: $40
Water: $50 (my husband waters the grass a lot)
Cable: $37.45. We use YouTube TV, have Amazon TV via Prime and use my brother’s Hulu and Netflix accounts
Internet: $30
Student loans: $550
Car payments: $300. My husband’s car is provided by work.
Car insurance: $90
Transportation costs: $40 per week for gas. My husband’s gas is paid for by work.
Phone bill: $60. My husband’s phone is paid by his work.
Insurance: $600 for medical/dental/vision and $60 for FSA.
Daycare: $268 per week (that’s with a 10% discount thanks to my company)
Banfield Pet Care for our dog: $55. We pay a monthly fee so that her comprehensive exams, vet visits and dental cleanings are covered for the year. Saves us a ton of money.
Ipsy Glam Bag subscription: $10. I don’t have to buy much makeup with all of the samples I get.
Hospital payment: $120. Having a baby is expensive. We paid off half of our balance, but needed to keep cash for buying a house and other emergencies, so we financed the remainder. This is interest-free, and I pay more than the minimum.
Spotify: $15

Three financial goals

Build up our savings. We purchased a house in February, so they took a hit.

Contribute to a college fund for our son.

Pay off all debt. This includes school loans, two credit cards and the hospital bill from the birth of our son.

Money Diary: How I spent my money last week

Day one: Sunday

My mom is in town this weekend, so my husband got us three free tickets to the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this week and we are spending the day here (yep, with a baby).

Special early morning treat! My husband gets us Starbucks. $12.12

We’re starving, so eat lunch at the tournament, plus lots of waters. $53

It’s so hot that my mom grabs us a frozen lemonade, which my son loves (though he only gets a little), and gets my husband a beer.

Everything in the merch tent is half-off and even though my husband got things for him and the baby earlier this week, we’re back. We get my husband a polo and I get a hat. $26.99

We’re exhausted by the end of the day and nobody wants to cook. Husband runs to Food Lion for frozen pizza and a couple other things. $20.26

Total spent: $112.37

Day two: Monday

I usually do my grocery shopping and meal prep on Sundays, but this weekend was not normal, so I’m starving and without breakfast at work. I get breakfast, a drink and a snack (thankfully I made my own coffee at home). $5.68

Made a Target run because it’s Mother’s Day, graduation, teacher appreciation and my manager’s last week at work all at the same time. I somehow spend $70.34. Grab lunch while I’m out because like I mentioned, I didn’t meal prep this weekend $7.21.

My husband doesn’t have afternoon meetings, so I send him a quick grocery list for the week. Thankfully I have a lot of meat in our freezer so he doesn’t need to get much. $50.85

Our son has swim class on Monday nights and we usually grab dinner after. We try City BBQ and realize we could have shared. $24.83

Total spent: $158.91

Day three: Tuesday

Another early meeting means I’m eating breakfast at work again. $5

My team is taking my manager out for lunch since it’s her last day, and I spend $15.

I ordered my MIL her mother’s day gift from Williams Sonoma and shipped it directly to her. $31.57

The weekly daycare payment is drafted – $262.80.

I make dinner at home tonight: Shrimp Alfredo. Baby approves.

Total spent: $314.37

Day four: Wednesday

My husband picks up Duck Donuts for son’s teachers (it’s Teacher Appreciation Week) and for his coworkers ($14.61) while I get breakfast at work again ($5).

I have a doctor’s appointment, and put the copay on my FSA card. $40

Meet my husband for lunch since the doctor is near our house and he’s WFH today. $27.61

Zulilly has a sale on a water table I want to get my son for his birthday. I buy one for him and another for my BFF’s daughter who turns one this month (as well as a couple other things). $100.80

Our dog has her checkup. Since we have the monthly plan for her, we spend $0.

The credit card payment is drafted ($78), as is YouTube TV ($37.45).

Husband grills dinner tonight – pork chops, asparagus and salad.

Total spent: $303.47

Day five: Thursday

I bring leftovers for breakfast and lunch today, and of course my gas light came on on my way in. I fill up my car at lunch for $43.62.

Target – again – because I still need things for my brother’s graduation and son’s teachers. $80.71

Looks like my husband went to Jimmy John’s for lunch! $10.92

I’m struggling today, so I get an iced coffee from the shop on campus around 3. $3.31 with tip.

We need charcoal for the grill ($7.63), and my husband grills wings while I make a salad as a side.

Student loans autodrafted today for $550.

Total spent: $696.19

Day six: Friday

Breakfast at work again ($5.20).

My friend and I go for lunch, and I buy hers because a couple of weeks ago I didn’t have my wallet with me when we were out. $29.41

I buy some sippy cups for my son on Amazon. We’ve tried a few and I’m hoping these will be easier to use. $16.08

It’s gearing up to be a busy weekend, so I get groceries with my son after work. $147.05

The payment for the dog’s Banfield plan drafts – $55.95.

Total spent: $253.69

Day seven: Saturday

Husband grabs us Starbucks ($12.61) before we head to Boone for my little brother’s graduation. When we get there, we pay for parking downtown. $4.25

Lunch at our fave – Black Cat (my husband and I are both App alum). $27.18

We check in to our hotel ($189.41) and are running on fumes because the baby doesn’t sleep. My husband grabs more Starbucks before we head to graduation ($15).

We buy the drinks at my brother’s graduation dinner for $31.83.

Total spent: $280.28

Total spent: $2,119.28
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $523.68
Bills – $984.20
Transportation – $47.87
Shopping – $334.12
Miscellaneous – $229.41

What I learned: This was not a normal spending week for us. We went to the tournament, my brother graduated from college, teacher appreciation, mother’s day, all of that compounded into extra expenses for us. I love to give gifts and I probably overdid it on a few, but oh well.

I honestly cannot believe we spent that much money this week. Seeing it on paper is really eye-opening. I also know for sure that when I don’t meal prep, my whole week is off and I spend SO MUCH more than I normally would on food. It also makes me feel awfu,l which is why I made it a point to get groceries Friday after work. We also should have just driven back to Huntersville after dinner Saturday; none of us like staying in a hotel and it’s not that easy with a baby.

Build your financial know-how with free tools and information to help you make more confident decisions. Visit the Bank of America Better Money Habits site today.

Need 1:1 guidance on getting your finances in order? Schedule an appointment with a Bank of America specialist today or stop in your local financial center.

Story Views:
Join the 52,814 smart Charlotteans that receive our daily newsletter.
"It's good. I promise." - Ted   Ted Williams